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acquaintances, a cold and mechanical notion, which shows how little he understood of the depth, and holiness, and continuity of a true affection*. His friendship was selfish and one-sided. He was merely his own friend. The loss of a friend who deserves the name is utterly irreparable. It is a terrible laceration of the heart which never heals.
Thy last sigh
There is nothing which throws so dark a horror over death as the parting with a dear friend ; and the dreadful thought that we may never meet again, even in a future state, is almost insupportable. The great and awful change which must take place in our nature may annihilate the materials of friendship.
* It must be remembered, however, that even Cicero, in his Essay on Friendship, recommends us to repair the loss of old friends by new acquisitions. And Shenstone acknowledges that it was a maxiin with him that whenever he lost a person's friendship to engage a fresh friend in his place. But it is not so easy, to engage a friend, as you would a servant, just as you require him. There is a pleasant stanza on this subject in Don Juan.
“ O Job! you had two friends : one's quite enough,
Especially when we are ill at ease;
Doctors less famous for their cures than fees.
As they will do like leaves at the first breeze :
The Poet, however, adds in the succeeding stanza
“ But this is not my maxim : had it been,
The thought of going to a Coffee House for a new friend was suggested to Lord Byron by a passage in Swift's or Walpole's letters, he did not remember which, where it is mentioned that somebody regretting the loss of a friend was answered, “ When I lose one, I go to the St. James's Coffee House, and take another."
The ancients carried more of this world into their idea of a future state than we do, and cheered their last hours with the hope of again meeting those they loved with much the same personal feeling as that with which they parted. Modern philosophy is on this point perhaps more refined; but while it renders our future prospect less palpable, it is also less congenial to human associations.
(ON THE DEATH OF HIS WIFE, A FEW MONTHS AFTER MARRIAGE.)
A Gloom hath gathered round thee now that will not pass away, Like gray mist from the mountain's peak, or storms from April's
day; There is a shade upon thy brow, a tempest in thy soul, No ray of earthly hope can cheer, no mortal voice control.
For she, the charm, the life of life, hath vanished from the scene,
Thy path is lone and desolate, and grief shall haunt thy breast,
LINES WRITTEN IN A LADY'S ALBUM.
LADY—though no poetic fire
But seldom beams,- I do not fear
But turning to my task and theme,